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01:45 China HSBC Manufacturing PMI (preliminary) December 50.5 50.9
04:30 Japan Industrial Production (MoM) (finally) October +1.8% +1.8% +1.6%
04:30 Japan Industrial Production (YoY) (finally) October -4.3% -4.5%
The yen fell to the weakest level since March against the dollar on bets that Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party will win Japanese elections this weekend and push the central bank to expand monetary easing. Abe, whose opposition LDP leads in opinion polls before the Dec. 16 ballot, has called for a doubling of the central bank’s inflation goal to 2 percent and unlimited easing to revive growth.
The Japanese currency headed for a weekly loss versus all of its 16 major counterparts as the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey showed large manufacturers were the most pessimistic in almost three years. The BOJ’s Tankan index for large companies fell to minus 12 in December from minus 3 in September, a fifth-straight negative reading and the lowest since March 2010. A negative figure means pessimists outnumber optimists, and the median estimate of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for minus 10.
The euro traded near a one-week high after the currency bloc’s finance ministers approved 49.1 billion-euro ($64.2 billion) of rescue payments to Greece yesterday. In Europe, finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels yesterday rubber stamped the next tranches of aid for Greece. Of the funds, 34.3 billion euros will be released within the next few days with the remaining money disbursed in the first quarter.
The Greek government this week said it plans to pay 11.29 billion euros to buy back 31.9 billion euros of bonds to reduce its debt burden and retain the support of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The buyback underscores a move away from the austerity-first measures European leaders have embraced since the financial crisis began in 2009.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to yesterday's high.
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $ 1.6120.
USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair rose to Y83.90.
The week draws to a close with a full calendar Friday, with the flash PMI indicators likely to be the stand out features. Ahead of thosereleases, the ACEA November new car registration data and the UK John Lewis weekly store sales data are released at 0700GMT. There is also French data scheduled for release, with the November Bank of France survey due at 0730GMT and French third quarter employment data due at 0745GMT. The main December flash services and manufacturing PMI releases are expected from 0758GMT, when the French numbers cross the wires. German PMI is expected from 0828GMT and the combined eurozone data at 0858GMT. In between, at 0830GMT, Germany's upper house of parliament is set to vote on the 2013 budget bill. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will likely speak. At 0900GMT,ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny and ECB Vice-President Vitor Constancio present the Financial Stability Review, in Vienna and Frankfurt respectively. at 1000GMT, EMU November final HICP data and EMU Q3 employment numbers will be released.
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